Thursday, January 29, 2009

The First Official Type M for Murder E-book Survey

The surveys are coming in hot and heavy, and I'd just like to say thanks to all of you. Please, if you haven't done it yet, please do so. You'll find it in the blog entry below.

I'd really like to get feedback from reviewers and, especially, publishers to find out how you view e-books, so if you're either of those, please help us!

One thing I should have stated from the outset: any information I receive will be kept strictly confidential! You have my word on that.

Look for survey results on February 10th!




Debby (Deborah Turrell) Atkinson said...

Rick, do you know what the range of royalties for ebooks might be? Are authors making what they do for print books? This varies, I know, but I imagine the field is just opening up.

Rick Blechta said...

That's one of the things that I'm interested in discovering, and unless I hear from authors who have e-books out with mainstream publishers, I'm afraid that I won't find out. The publishers sure aren't talking!

Any help out there?

It seems to me, though, that the royalty for the author should be a higher percentage because the publisher has to tie up far fewer resources when releasing an e-book.

Kate Saundby said...

Re the comments about ebooks, having been involved with this industry since 1998 both as an author and a customer, I can answer some of your questions.

Ebook royalties are higher than print. They range from a straight 50/50split i.e. Rosetta, Fictionwise, to 25% or 30%of the net. With rare exceptions, ebook publishers don't pay author advances and there's no reserve against returns because there are no returns.

Re: 'mainstream' publishers and ebooks, with the exception of Baen, the print publishers are doing a remarkably poor job of it. They not only insist on unpopular 'protected' formats, they charge double digit prices, treat their customers like scum and then wonder out loud how come the independents routinely outsell them 10 to 1 via online distributors like Fictionwise.

As many veteran authors are find out, ebooks are also great source of out of print titles. Richard Curtis's EReads is a great source of such SF/Fantasy titles. So is Baen Books.

Several years ago, Kurt Vonnegutt and Rosetta bumped heads with Random House over the electronic rights to his out of print titles, and, to quote Sonny and Cher, 'the beat goes on'.

I hope this helps.

Rick Blechta said...

Wow, Kate! Yes, it does help very much. Thanks for weighing in on this topic.